Riding a bike on the road with traffic can be an inherently dangerous activity. While most interactions go smoothly, there are times when drivers don’t see bicycles and an accident, often painful and sometimes fatal, ensues. Start-up iLumaware wants to give bikers an extra level of protection with the Shield TL, a rear taillight with radar technology that makes a bicyclist more visible to cars.
The cornerstone of the Shield TL taillight is the proprietary OTR Technology developed by iLumaware. The patent pending tech uses a long-range radar system to transmit the bike’s location to any car that is equipped with a collision avoidance system. This system increases the radar presence of a bike by more than 100 percent, allowing the car to detect the bicycle at a distance and providing its driver with ample warning.
The Shield TL was engineered to be as discreet as possible, making it possible for bicyclists to use the safety device with minimal impact on their riding performance. It is relatively small, weighing less than 1.8 ounces, and measuring a mere 1.5 x 3 x 4.5 inches. The module mounts on the seat tube of a bicycle, facing backward to provide 180 degrees of visibility. Besides the radar, the device includes an 80 lumens light and IPX7 waterproofing. It also is equipped with a battery that delivers 25 hours of usage, or 76 hours when operating as a strobe.
iLumaware has been working on the OTR Technology for more than three years and has been able to package it in a form factor perfectly suited for a bicycle. Still at the prototype stage, iLumaware plans to use its Kickstarter project to fund the latter stages of development which includes the final product design, production testing, and continued research and development.
Pricing for the Shield TL starts at $45 while it is available via Kickstarter. When it officially debuts, the light and safety device will sell for $89. It is expected to ship starting in June 2017.